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When we think of mummies what picture comes to mind? Boris Karloff in "The Mummy" is one many will think of.
Hollywood has dramatized the mummy in many of it's horror flicks for years now. Where did the drama start? Possibly in the Victorian era when Egyptology became a fad. It became fashionable to visit Egypt, pick up a few artifacts to bring home and decorate your home with.
In 1869 Louisa May Alcott wrote a book called Lost in a Pyramid: the Mummy's Curse and then there is the famous publication of 1821 called The Mummy which is the first use of mummy horror in literature. In 1871, the composer Verdi brought us the Egyptian themed opera, Aida. And we have Napoleon Bonaparte who founded the Institut de l'Egypte in Cairo in 1798 which discovered the Rosetta Stone
that finally allowed Egyptian writing to be deciphered in 1822 by Jean Francois Champollion.
So you can see the Mummy has had quite a history outside of the religious process of mummification. The art of preserving or mummification is quite a process. Let's see first you start by pulling the brains out through the nostrils. Hummm lovely, this was before embalming was learned. Then there is the process of drying you out with myrrh and salt solutions. They then proceed to wrap you up in flaxen cloth and stick you in box after box until you come to the last one the Sarcophagus. Many items that would be useful for the next life are also placed with the mummy.
Photo by Joshua Sherurcij
And why did they mummify a person? Preservation of the physical body was paramount, for without a home, the soul wandered and would be lost forever.
There is so much information regarding Mummies and mummification as you can imagine, so if your interest is piqued, then there are many more links and books on the subject to see.
Our "M" stitch this for this entry is the Mossoul stitch which most of you know as the Herringbone stitch. It is a common stitch to sampler making and appeared as early as 1681. The Mossoul stitch is a type of Cross Stitch worked backwards from left to right. My source in my library is from Eileen Bennett's book The Red Book of Sampler Stitches.
This letter is not terribly colorful - this is when the color of your linen comes into play - especially when choosing the color for your mummy! I have made him entirely in Mossoul Stitch - over one - quite the feat! But I think the woven look will be a great effect - you can experiment a little to find the exact look you want, and of course, over two, it will be a snap! I used two red beads for the mummy's eyes (is this where the expression "beady little eyes" comes from?) As always, click on the picture to go to the Freebies page to download this chart, or click on Freebies in the side bar.
Have fun, and whatever you do, don't tell my mummy on me!